Things and Stuff

Welcome to another long-winded blog post of miscellaneous things on my mind.  If you’ve been keeping up with me for a while, you know I do this from time to time.

If you’ve not seen it and are interested, I’ve posted a revised schedule for the Tolkien reading quest.

Along the same lines, the Sherlock Holmes buddy read is still going to proceed at the current pace, typically every Friday.  I think the plan for this is to keep this going uninterrupted until we hit The Hound of the Baskervilles?  Even then, that won’t slow us down much.

Last night, I finally finished out Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix.  As with the previous shows in this series, I have no intention of writing a formal review, but I heartily enjoyed it.  Jon Bernthal did the impossible on season 2 of Daredevil when he made me like this character.  That carried over as I knew it would.  I was truly impressed with the kind of character and story nuances I rarely found in the source material.

I made a bit of discovery too.  It seems that when it comes to series TV, I’m really not meant for binge-watching.  I can do a full-blown Middle-Earth Ring-a-Thon, but when it comes to series TV, I think I just retain stories better if I give them time to breathe, to marinate.  An episode or two at a time is all I need.

That led to an even deeper discovery, which tied into the aforementioned buddy reads.  I’m retaining more of what I’m reading there because I’m spacing those reads instead of burning through them at mach speeds.  I used to blaze through Star Trek novels or westerns like this in my younger days because the stories warranted that I could do this, but they’d run together for being so similar at times.  It made me think, though.  Back in high school and college, I had the standard course loads, watched mind-blowing amounts of TV, kept up with a mountain of comic books each week, and usually had 3 or 4 novels going at one time.  It wasn’t so long ago I wondered how I did that.  I think at long last I’ve figured that out, and it’s so simple.  When I switch gears to concentrate on something else, it gives my subconscious mind the room it needs to process what I’ve read or watched before.  When I come back to it, it makes more sense.  More than that, no matter how much I’ve done before on other things, I feel like I’m starting with a fresh slate, truly ready to push forward.  After college, I was able to spend more time on these rabbit hole projects, but now that I’ve come to these conclusions, I’m not sure more time was ever the answer to increase productivity.  It’s quality, not quantity.  With this insight in place now, I think I can finally start pushing ahead on some of the other neglected projects on this site.  I was burning myself out before between depression and “the need” to feel productive, the latter of which just caused more depression.  Everything on this site is designed to be my lifeline, my rescue from depression and burnout.  Variety is the spice of life.  If I feel like I need to stop juggling and let something drop, I can do that, but with this little mental shift in place, I think things are going to get better.  To get the most out of what I encounter, I need to slow down and keep things in rotation.  I’ve known this at some level all my life, and somewhere along the way I’ve lost sight of it.  This is going to be a mantra for me going forward.

And related to that, I have a new goal in mind now.  Whatever else happens, this site — and all the content I consume for it — is still my hobby.  So is the music, the swordfighting, and pretty much everything else that’s not my day job.  I’ve decided it’s time to put on my adulting pants and figure out how to earn real money so I’m not living hand to mouth all the time.  More than that, I’m sick of living in a neighborhood that I can’t afford to move away from, where the lifestyle consists of loud music, loud engines, and nightly gunfire.  I’m not talking about trading more hours of my life for an hourly pittance and the stink eye from those who earn a few dollars more.  I’m already doing that, and I’ve realized that when you look at things from the mindset of those who are actually making money, that is the absolute dumbest way possible to live.  So… one of the things I’m introducing into the hopper is the idea of actually learning from those who have the kind of life I want and applying that to my own life.  Rule one, which I’m already wrestling with: it’s not about the money.  That comes as a side effect of doing something that brings value.  When you have no money, that’s the sort of simple explanation that makes perfect sense at one level and screws with your fundamentals at the same time.  That sort of shakeup is exactly what I need in my life, and the solution is NOT a better job or a second job.  That’s just a different version of the stupid that comes from trading your time to make someone else wealthy.  Rule two: figure out how money actually works in the world.  That’s another one that seems so simple on the surface, but it’s always been a daunting idea for this art major.  Math has never been my friend.  That’s part of the problem.  Math is real power.  I need to make it my friend.  Better late than never.  Rule three: whatever has happened in the past has shaped today.  None of that matters.  Whatever I do from this point forward shapes tomorrow.

That’s where my head has been the last few days.  I’m still letting things develop.  It’s truly amazing how a little peace and quiet over a long weekend can earn massive shifts in perception.  I’m making sure I take full advantage of it where I can.

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